Categories
Retreats

Understanding Our Mind: Q & A

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March 30, 2011. 140-minute session of questions and responses provided in English, with consecutive translation into Thai, with Thich Nhat Hanh on the sixth day of the Understanding Our Mind retreat at Mahachulalongkornrajavidhayalaya Buddhist University (MCU) in Bangkok, Thailand.

Over a period of two hours, participants of the retreat ask Thay questions about the practice. The questions are sincere, heartfelt, and based in life experience. The questions pertain to topics such as: When we die, where does our mind go? Here we practice listening to the sound of the bell, but in our daily life we don’t have anyone to invite the bell, the bell we hear is people who scold us or admire us. How do I practice when people scold me or admire me? How do I deal with the emotions resulting from being treated not as well as my older brother? How do I practice to come back to myself, when I feel that I am lost? What is the role of medication in the treatment of mental illness? What is the difference between neutral feelings and joyful feelings?

The talk was given in English and Thai at the same time and is available below for listening or download. You may also view the video.

Categories
Plum Village

We Are the Cloud

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January 23, 2011. 77-minute Dharma Talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh, New Hamlet, Plum Village, France. We begin with 8-minutes of chanting.

“Sitting in this meditation hall, we perceive that the clouds are floating high in the sky. But in reality we are surrounded by clouds; there is water vapor all around us. When we have fog we see this clearly. We also have vapor in our body in the form of water. So we interare with the cloud. Science shows us this; Buddhism can also show us this.”

“According to our practice, mindfulness, concentration and insight are a source of happiness. And we as practitioners need to generate this energy. Breathing in mindfulness you generate the energy of mindfulness; we get in touch with the wonders of life that are all around us.”

“The tour this year will have the theme, ‘Now is the time: this is it.'”

The Path of liberation. We must know how to take care of the path to overcome our difficulties. The path of eight correct practices (Right View, Right Speech, Right Action, etc).

Body, Speech, and Mind
Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight
Right Livelihood, Right Diligence

These are the fruit of our practice.

For those of you interested, Thay mentions the 5-year monastic training for young people. At about 59-minutes into the talk, we transition to the sutra commentary we’ve been exploring. Here we here about verses 28-31.

Editor’s Note: Unfortunately, the recording is cut off before it is completed and I am unable to get the missing recording at this time. It is cut off shortly after the sutra commentary begins. The video link below has everything.

The talk was given in Vietnamese with English translation and is available below (French and original Vietnamese audio are also available, as well as video version).

Categories
Uncategorized

Long Hand of the Fourfold Sangha

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June 11, 2010. 108-minute dharma talk given by Thich Nhat Hanh in Great Compassion Temple, European Institute of Applied Buddhism. The talk was given Vietnamese, though you can clearly hear Thay’s voice, and is translated into English by Sister Chân Duc (Annabel).

The talk has four parts.

  1. Enjoying Every Moment
  2. The Order of Interbeing
  3. Engaged Buddhism
  4. The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings

The last line of dhamapada, from the Chinese, is an inspiration for the early part of this talk. On my head, there begins to have white hair. My youth has been stolen. It seems like they have come to tell me that I should become a monk as soon as possible. We need to learn to stroll – to enjoy our stroll. We shouldn’t waste our opportunity of being a human. We should enjoy every moment. Taste every moment. How can this be done? Train with a sangha. Don’t wait till your hair is gray

Each member of the Order of Interbeing has to be a pillar. An inspiration. The brown color. The brown jacket symbolizes humility. We should manifest that spirit. The spirit of power of silence. The Vietnamese name is Tiep Hien. The word Tiep has many meanings. To receive is the first. To continue is second. To be in touch with (life, suffering) is third. The first thing we must do is to receive. The way Thay walks. Talks. This is his way of transmitting. The word Hien. First, it means the thing that is present. Now. The dharma  door of plum Village is the present moment. Second, it means realization. Realizing the practice. Third, manifestation. We could also add another meaning. Make it appropriate to the time and place. Actualization. With all these meanings, it can’t so easily translate into English. Therefore, we have Order of Interbeing and we must study to understand its meaning.

Engaged Buddhism means Buddhism that enters the world. Engaged Buddhism has been in our Vietnamese tradition for hundreds of years. Closely related to Engaged Buddhism is Applied Buddhism. Applied is a secular term, but it allows us to do more than simply study Buddhism but rather to actually apply the teachings to transform our suffering. There are many schools that teach Buddhism, but few that teach applied Buddhism. The Order of Interbeing members are the long hand of the fourfold sangha that stretches out to society. The lay order members are needed to do this. Build sangha.

Thay calls for a council, an assembly of Order members, to revise the Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings. This is our challenge. With the recent revision of the Five Mindfulness Trainings, they now contain all the good parts of the Fourteen, but the Fourteen are now missing new elements found in the five. A committee has already begun the work, but it needs to be expanded.

I hope you enjoy the talk as much as I did listening and making a few notes.

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Categories
Plum Village

The Fifth Mantra

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December 27, 2009. This 55-minute dharma talk in English given by Thich Nhat Hanh in New Hamlet, Plum Village.

We know The Four Mantras in the Plum Village tradition and here we learn more about the fifth mantra: this moment is a moment of happiness.

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